The Sea Service Deployment Ribbon was established on May 22, 1980, by Secretary of the Navy Edward Hidalgo and announced in SECNAVINST 1650.35 of January 26, 1981.
The eligibility commencement date for the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon is August 15, 1974. Only one award may be earned for the period of August 15, 1974 to January 1, 1979, regardless of the number of years of sea duty or the number of deployments made.
This ribbon is awarded to officer and enlisted personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps. Each Service has distinct criteria that delineates eligibility; Navy personnel assigned to Marine Corps units follow Marine Corps policy, and vice-versa.
-- The Sea Service Deployment Ribbon is awarded to members of the Navy and Marine Corps assigned to U.S. homeported (including Hawaii and Alaska) ships, deploying units, or Fleet Marine Force commands, for 12 months accumulated sea duty, or for duty with the Fleet Marine Force that includes at least one deployment of 90 consecutive days.
-- A standard fourteen day waiver of the twelve month accumulated sea duty/duty with the Fleet Marine Force is authorized so long as the 90-consecutive day deployment requirement is met.
-- The twelve month accumulated sea duty requirement is waived for those Navy and Marine personnel who were called to sea duty or deployed for Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm (during the period of August 2, 1990 to December 31, 1991) to qualify for this initial award.
-- For Navy and Marine Corps personnel assigned to overseas homported ship, deploying units, or Fleet Marine Force commands, who have twelve months accumulated sea duty or duty with the Fleet Marine Force, the 90-day deployment is not required.
-- For Navy units only, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon does not conflict with the Overseas Service Ribbon after October 1, 1999.
--In addition, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon may be awarded to members assigned to units that complete two eighty day (or longer) deployments in a twelve month period. This change applies to deployments commencing on or after october 18, 1991. This provision was designed to provide recognition to those sailors whose units deployment lengths and turn around cycles were modified to meet changing mission requirements within resource constraints and do not meet the previous guidelines for award of this ribbon.
Order of Precedence
For both Navy and Marine Corps personnel, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon is worn after the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and before the Arctic Service Ribbon.
Subsequent awards of the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon are denoted by bronze service stars three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter (a silver service star the same size denotes a sixth award).